Morgan Whittier's seat on the Board of Education was filled before it had the chance to get cold.

Following Whittier's unexpected resignation last week, the board has chosen David "Duke" Dineen to serve on the board for the remainder of his term.

Whittier resigned after nine years of service came just a few months before his term was set to expire this fall.

The decision to fill Whittier's empty seat was solely up to the board.

"We wholeheartedly support Duke," said Republican Town Committee Chairman James Palen.

Dineen was sworn in by Town Clerk Donna Rajczewski Tuesday night and immediately joined the Board of Education.

Dineen will serve only until the end of Whittier's term, and will have to be elected in his own right in November to continue serving. He has been nominated by the GOP to run for a seat.

In the past, the political parties' town committees have been asked to recommend a new board member in the event that an active member steps down or resigns. Board member Sara Zuro joined the board in May 2012 after former board member Amy Bell stepped down to become the executive chairwoman of the Darien Community Association.

Dineen has lived in Darien for 17 years with his wife, Ashley, and their three children, who attend Tokeneke Elementary School and St. Luke's School.

Dineen served two years on the Environmental Protection Commission and eight years as a volunteer Darien firefighter, and serves as treasurer for Darien Revitalization Inc.

Whittier announced that for personal reasons he would not seek re-election at the end of May.

"I felt that nine years on the Board of Ed was enough and there are some other volunteer activities to which I would like to dedicate my time," Whittier said in an email in May.; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews